When people say littering is neither clever nor cool, they’re telling a half-truth.
Yeah, dumping your rubbish all over the street isn’t statistically clever but don’t try and make out like it can’t be cool at times.
The other week I was strolling through Manchester with a close friend of mine, when I threw a cigarette butt on the floor. ‘What! Why did you do that?!’ she asked. ‘It’ll end up in the sea.’
The guilt trip didn’t work, as I’d already flung the thing and gained a helluva lot of cool points. I may have gone down in her estimations, though.
The whole situation reminds me of this video of a biker returning some litter to a driver who threw a McDonald’s cup out of their window.
Watch it here:
The showdown, which allegedly occurred in Moscow, Russia, has since gone viral.
Litter, being cool aside, does have an effect on people’s health, on the economy, business, tourism, crime and anti-social behaviour, and of obviously, on the environment. Not only is the effect of littering serious, but it’s also spread across the globe. Literally.
62 per cent of people in England are believed to drop litter, and 99 per cent of streets in town centres are covered in cigarette butts. It’s therefore not surprising there are a range of laws in place to try to prevent litter and keep our environment clean.
The main piece of legislation covering littering and refuse is Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990. Crucially, section 87 of the EPA states it’s a criminal offence for a person to drop, throw down, leave or deposit litter in a public place. It carries a maximum fine of £2,500 and can be tried in a magistrate’s court.
Some sections of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 were updated, extended and amended by Part 3 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (CNEA) 2005.
This act extended and widened enforcement powers to help tackle problems such as leaving litter, dog fouling, fly-tipping and graffiti.
It also aims to force businesses, private land owners, occupiers and managers to recognise their role in ctributing to the quality and appearance of the local authority.
Basically, don’t drop your litter anywhere else other than a bin!
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